The Rise Of A Billion People
By ARUN TIWARI
This book is indeed a sequel
I presented India as a wounded civilization, a phrase originally used in 1977 by the Nobel Laureate author, V.S. Naipaul, to describe India in a different context. The Indian nation remains a work in progress even after more than seventy years have gone by because no serious attempt has been made to heal the wounds of a messy and violent Partition, and instead of facing the truth and attempting a reconciliation, something brilliantly achieved by Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu in the much worse conditions of South Africa, we have been rubbing salt over the wounds.
Unmindful of the larger issues of energy independence, national security and an ever-increasing number of unemployed educated youth, we as a nation seem to have decided to dance to the tune of a self-serving elite who have pervaded every organ of the state machinery. Most of the leaders are indeed working as managers of an invisible corporation of money that is able to find its rate of return in every misfortune and problem of this massive nation of 1300 million people.
Years back, I read a beautiful book, ‘My Country, My People’, by Lin Yutang (1895 –1976), published in 1935. It described a China that was oppressed, conquered, and in a state of political and economic disintegration. Lin Yutang migrated to the United States for higher education and more as an escape, wrote confidently that, “All this would change because China is indeed a great civilization. Sooner or later, Chinese people will find a way out of their muddle and become a world power; they deserve to be one.” The faith and pride of Lin Yutang in the Chinese civilization and the way China indeed changed itself, captivated me.
I am no historian, journalist or academician, but an Indian who reads and writes concerning its people. My focus on India is more cerebral – how Indian people feel, react and respond – rather than intellectual – how they should be managed, manipulated, and converted into
India 3.0 can’t happen with the political profiteers and vote bank operators managing our democracy, the officials in high and low places seeing 10 per cent in every transaction and acting to advance their careers, and people who keep the society divided permanently so that they can remain the VIPs of waste, and keep talking big for nothing. Jesus Christ had only one doubting Thomas; Mother India has multitudes of leaders doubtful about the nation itself!